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Tag: Dmitry Orlov

Unbalanced Defensive Minutes For Washington Could Become Factor As Series Wears On

The golden Knights have to take advantage of the heavy minutes load to create more moments like this with VGK’s top line vs. Brooks Orpik. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Jack Adams finalist Gerard Gallant likes to utilize his top defensive pairing of Nate Schmidt and Brayden McNabb against the opposition’s top line. However, that doesn’t mean he lessens the minutes of his other two pairings significantly. Through two games of the Stanley Cup Final, the Golden Knights have been much more balanced in terms of minute load compared to the Capitals on D.

 ATOI (Series)ATOI (Regular Season)ATOI (Playoffs) 
Matt Niskanen25:4122:2625:32
John Carlson24:3024:4725:50
Dmitry Orlov23:1223:0824:24
Nate Schmidt21:5822:1424:32
Shea Theodore21:5820:2121:39
Brayden McNabb21:0020:0921:55
Deryk Engelland19:2620:1722:14
Colin Miller18:3319:2119:16
Michael Kempny18:3219:2217:43
Brooks Orpik15:4115:4516:59
Luca Sbisa15:0019:3116:17
Christian Djoos9:0514:0210:59

Washington boasts the top three defensemen in average time on ice and also has three of the four bottom players in ATOI through two games in the series.

As the workload continues to increase for the Caps, it should come as with an advantage the longer the series goes. Niskanen, Orlov, and Carlson are on the ice a lot, and as long as Vegas’ forecheck can get back to their normal relentless selves, the Capital d-corps should wear down.

Carlson and Kempny are the only two defensemen which a 50+% Cosri For for the Capitals, but both have been on the ice for more even strength goals against than for.

Wearing out terrific defensemen like Carlson, Orlov, and Niskanen is easier said than done, but the minutes load is likely to add up at some point. Late in games, Vegas has to make it hard on these guys and force Barry Trotz to go deeper down his bench more often.

It may not materialize in Game 3, or even Game 4, but as the series continues, the Golden Knights should be the fresher team, especially on the blue line.

Six Vegas Scouts In DC; Who They Might Have Been Watching

Last night, SI.com writer Alex Pruitt reported an entourage of Las Vegas scouts in DC. Pruitt, who’s one of the few covering the NHL’s 31st franchise on the national level, tweeted six Las Vegas officials were credentialed for the Capitals and Red Wings matchup. The heavy presence suggests they were scouting several players at last night’s 1-0 Capitals victory. Let’s take a shot at what players Las Vegas scouts kept an eye on.

Detroit Red Wings – Mike Green/Defenseman

The 31 year-old, right handed defenseman could be very appealing to Las Vegas scouts. Green is in his 10th season, and overall he’s been a very good player. He’s had some brilliant offensive stretches, including a combined 68 goals from 2007-2010. Very impressive offensive numbers for a defenseman averaging 3 shots a game during that run. However, “Greener” has tailed off over the past few seasons. Green offensively is known for his efficient slap-shot, and was affectionately nicknamed “Game over Green” by Washington fans. Green is in his second season with Detroit, and will have one more year remaining if the Knights select him. It would be a sizable $6mil cap big hit for Las Vegas, but if he’s available he’s worth the price.

Detroit Red Wings- Jimmy Howard/Goaltender

Just a few years removed from being one of the NHL’s elite goaltenders, the 32 year-old Howard is destined for the Expansion Draft. Detroit will most certainly continue to go with Petr Mrazek as their future net-minder. In fact, there are rumors that Howard could be traded this season. If that’s the case, the former Maine Black Bear could still be left unprotected by whatever team he lands with. Howard’s age, contract, and steady decline are mainly why a team would only use him as a post-season rental. Sure, Howard has had some good seasons, but I doubt he’ll be George McPhee‘s best option in 2017.

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